Microsoft Corporation Limited
93,000 sq ft
Fit-out, Interior Design
Media, Office Space
BCO Regional Awards 2008, Finalist, Mixology Commercial Interiors Project of the Year 2008
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MSN – part of the Microsoft organisation – was obliged to relocate from its previous base in Great Pulteney Street, Soho, by sheer lack of space. The rapidly expanding search engine company leased 93,000 sq ft of space in two linked buildings at the recently completed Cardinal Place development, close to Victoria Station.
MSN is a youthful company, the great majority of its employees aged under 35. The brief to tp bennett was to capitalise on the new location (with transport links that are highly convenient for an international organisation) while bringing to it something of the legendary energy and creativity associated with Soho. In particular, Victoria offered MSN the opportunity for a greatly enhanced public presence in a dramatic new landmark building with a prominent street presence. The aim was to express the energy and inventiveness, as well as the integrity, reliability and expertise, of a leading-edge brand. tp bennett organised a visioning workshop for MSN management and staff in which the future goals of the company, and the way in which these could be reflected in the new offices, were explored and debated. The findings fed into the design process.
Flexibility was fundamental to the client brief. Generously day-lit open-plan offices are arranged around a central core of meeting rooms on four floors in 100 Cardinal Place. There is extensive provision for hot desking for transient staff and break-out areas ideal for the brainstorming sessions that generate new ideas are located on every level. The reception area, with its undulating screen of illuminated rods, provides a particularly strong expression of the MSN brand – the staff restaurant is deliberately placed adjacent to this public space. A dedicated client centre is located in 80 Cardinal Place and linked to the offices by a glass bridge. It contains fifteen meeting rooms and a 200 seat auditorium equipped with the latest in audio-visual technology. The use of synthetic, though sustainable, materials in the fit-out reflects the technologydriven nature of MSN. Colourful, vibrant and in tune with its context, this project reflects a remarkable collaboration between designer and client.